Provincial governments bear the burden of legalized marijuana

While the Trudeau government will enjoy the political payoff of appearing progressive, all the problems and logistics will fall on the provinces

Provincial governments bear the burden of legalized marijuanaThe federal government is set on legalizing marijuana by summer 2018. While they will enjoy the political payoff of appearing progressive, all the problems and the logistics of legalizing pot will fall on the shoulders of the provincial governments. There are strong correlations between how a drug or an indulgence, such as gambling, is made…

Provinces must act to prevent another OxyContin debacle

Two solutions to increase pharmaceutical manufacturers’ accountability to Canadians and their governments

Provinces must act to prevent another OxyContin debacleBy Vanessa Gruben and Louise Bélanger-Hardy University of Ottawa The 10 provincial governments recently accepted a class-action settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. The settlement concerns the misleading claims Purdue Pharma allegedly made to physicians about the addictive nature of the drug. These claims may have contributed to Canada’s epidemic of opioid addiction.…

Results confirm fentanyl deaths in Kindersley

Only the cities of Saskatoon and Regina had more fentanyl deaths than Kindersley from 2013 to 2017

Results confirm fentanyl deaths in KindersleyClarion staff An update on drug toxicity deaths by the Office of the Chief Coroner of Saskatchewan confirms fentanyl has contributed to the deaths of five people in the area since 2013. The office updated its drug toxicity deaths statistics on July 10. The data tables provided by the coroner’s office show the results from…

Proposed changes could reduce access to prescription drugs

While well-intentioned, changes to Patented Medicine Prices Review Board could stop companies from launching new drugs

Proposed changes could reduce access to prescription drugsBy Dr. Nigel Rawson and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute In a speech in May, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott talked about rising prescription drug prices and announced the launch of consultations on proposed changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) designed “to protect Canadians from excessive drug prices.” The proposed changes may…

Free medicines for rich kids is a fair and efficient policy

Universality is no free ride for the rich. If everyone pays, say, a one per cent income tax for universal drug coverage, the millionaire will pay much more

Free medicines for rich kids is a fair and efficient policyOntario’s duelling pharmacare proposals should make victors of all Canadians. The opposition New Democrats recently promised universal drug coverage for a list of essential medicines, if they are elected. Not to be outdone, the ruling Liberal party announced universal coverage for all drugs on the provincial formulary for youth under 25 years of age. Most…

Catastrophic pharmacare is a catastrophe

Why the provinces don’t need $3 billion in federal tax dollars for flawed prescription drug policies

Catastrophic pharmacare is a catastropheLast week, the CD Howe Institute called on Ottawa to give provinces nearly $3-billion to establish national standards for catastrophic drug coverage and to mandate a system of transparent price negotiations with pharmaceutical drug manufacturers. Acting on those recommendations would represent a major step backward for Canada, one that would cost Canadians billions of dollars…

Pharmacare is for kids too

What do you do if your child is sick and you must decide between buying prescribed medicine or food?

Pharmacare is for kids tooBy Avram Denburg Canadian Doctors for Medicare and Steve Morgan University of British Columbia You are the parent of a sick child. You have a limited budget and you must decide to buy the medicine the doctor prescribed for your child or provide food and shelter for your family instead. What do you do? Sadly,…

Canada’s $500-million drug problem

Piecemeal drug insurance coverage costs cities – and taxpayers - plenty

Canada’s $500-million drug problemCanada's cities face a number of problems, including traffic congestion, housing costs, crime rates and shabby infrastructure. Now prescription drugs can be added to the list; it is a problem that is costing local governments as much as $500 million every year. Recognizing that access to necessary medicines is critical for health and wellbeing, many…

Pharmacare is good for business

Businesses need help managing the complexity and high cost of drug benefits

Pharmacare is good for businessBy Steve Morgan University of British Columbia and Danielle Martin Women’s College Hospital The lack of public coverage of prescription drugs is bad for Canadian businesses, large and small. Here’s why: With the growing use and cost of prescription drugs, managing drug benefits has become much more complex and difficult for businesses to sustain. Regrettably,…

National drug plan would reduce public, private spending

Any perceived barriers appear to be unjustified

National drug plan would reduce public, private spendingA new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal with health economist Steve Morgan as lead author argues a national universal care drug program would not result in substantial tax increases. Indeed, such a plan reduces public and private spending on prescription drugs by $7.3 billion annually – or by 32 per cent. According to…

Four ways to make pharmacare work for Canadians

Canada only developed country with a universal healthcare system that does not include universal coverage of prescription drugs

Four ways to make pharmacare work for CanadiansA growing number of health professionals, patients, community groups and even politicians are calling for national pharmacare. But many Canadians likely wonder what pharmacare is and whether Canada is ready for it. Let’s start at the beginning. Affordable access to safe and properly prescribed prescription medicines is so critical to patient health that the World…
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